Using My Sample Packs

Something I’ve had for a while now are the Sample Packs from Bra-Makers Supply. When I first ordered them, I was more excited about them than the rest of my order. I could see all the colors of Duoplex at one time, in one place. The same for the Power Net. Only a bra-making geek would be excited about this. There’s a link in the photo if you too want your own sample pack. (No affiliation with Bra-Makers Supply – just love.)

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That’s the photo from the BMS website. Here’s my own Duoplex Sample Pack.

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Here are all my samples:

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These are the Duoplex, the Regular Power Net, The Cotton Lycra and Tricot Samplers. They really are such fun and very useful. You can find a full listing of all the Sample Packs Bra-Makers Supply carries here.

In the past I’ve show you how I’ve used them. When I purchase a lace or other bra-related material, out come my samples right away to see what I can use to match my purchase.

Here’s a recent one. Merckwaerdigh‘s Etsy shop had a gorgeous Devore Cotton knit bra kit. I’ve learned to not even think about these things. She only ever has one of these treasures, so scoop it up quickly.

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These two photos showing the Devore Cotton are both from Merckwaerdigh’s store.

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Isn’t that pretty? Devore Cotton is also more commonly known as Burnout Knit. Devore Cotton sounds so much more exotic.

However, I know from experience, I need a little more support than this kit will provide. That’s where my Sample Packs come in.

Here are a few of my Duoplex options.

Here’s the Devore Cotton and Light Beige:

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In this photo that looks like a pretty good match, but in person the Duoplex is a little bit lighter than the beige in the cotton.

Here’s the DC with Dark Beige:

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Hmm. This still isn’t what I’m envisioning. But the beiges are a good match.

Here’s the DC and Platinum:

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This  was what I was thinking for the kit. I do like this one. The greys are not the same, the BMS one is a little lighter than the one in the DC, but I might be leaning towards this one. I’ve been wanting to make a Platinum bra.

And the DC and Black:

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I think the black makes the DC look washed out, which is definitely not a look I want!

I think I’m going to go with a platinum band and use Sheer Cup lining behind the DC.

Do you have any of the BMS Sample Packs? Do you love them too? Do you have a favorite? What would you use behind the Devore Cotton? Duoplex or Sheer Cup Lining?

Happy Creating!

A Review of Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016.

banner-improvedYou’ll see in my sidebar menu, I’m an affiliate with Craftsy. I decided to do this because I can do it without any compromise. I really do think they’re great. In fact, I love the whole concept: You buy a class that never expires; you can watch it anytime; the instructors answer your questions. From sewing to cooking to gardening and more, they have classes. They really are great!

I’m reviewing Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras Foam, Lace & Beyond class and so is Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice. Have you seen Rachelle’s blog? She has some great posts on her blog, and I think you’ll love what she does. Any blogger who falls in love with making lingerie is my kind of blogger too.

Here’s my review: The first thing Beverly Johnson, suggests in this class is that you take Sewing Bras Construction & Fit, which is another great class. I have that first class, and go back to review my notes again and again. I still find it valuable.

So, once we have that foundation on making bras, Beverly now takes us into the gorgeous world of lace bras. Oh, so much lace! And oh so pretty. I love lace. But as the name of the class implies, it’s not just lace. It’s Foam, and Lace, and more.

Here is some of what Beverly covers:

What lace to use

Lace on the upper cup

Full lace bras

Lace partial-band bras, and lace full-band bras

Lace and foam

Making Demi cups

Making Balconettes

Preformed foam cups

Cut & Sew foam cups

And there’s more. This class really covers a lot.

Here’s a screen shot from the class of a beautiful lace-covered full-band bra.
lace covered full band

Isn’t that lovely?

Here’s another sample from the class:

partial band

Isn’t this gorgeous? Just wow. Beverly not only makes everything look amazing, she really instills confidence that we can do this too.

Here’s one more example from the class:

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The bras Beverly makes and teaches in this class rival any Ready-to-Wear bra – anytime. Every time.

Both my Eastern partner, Rachelle, and I both made a bra to go along with what we were learning from the class. Rachelle used the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern to make a Demi cup bra. I’m starting with the same pattern, but just wait until you see how different our makes are!

The bra I chose to make is from this class and Beverly’s first class (Construction & Fit): the Heather bra.

In Beverly’s first class, her model, Heather, was wearing a RTW bra that became a Craftsy hit! Everyone wanted to learn how to make this bra, and naturally attributed this beauty to Beverly.

Heather

Here’s another screen shot of Beverly measuring Heather wearing her lovely bra. I was going along with the crowd on this one – I loved that bra too.

In this class, Beverly takes us through the steps to make our own Heather bra.

Heather on Ashley smaller

Here’s Beverly’s Heather bra. It’s gorgeous!

The first thing Beverly shows us is how to change the seams on our bra pattern. She takes about a minute and a half to show this, and she draws it all out and cuts it. It took me… longer than that… and a break for lunch, and two cups of tea to do mine.

IMG_0665Once the pattern was done, it was time to cut the bra out. I’m always amazed at how little fabric goes into a bra. This little pile is about to become something very pretty.

Do you remember my teaser post? Now you’ll see just what I made with this lovely tulle.

Polka Dots

Here’s my Heather bra:

Front

A few of the alterations I made to my Heather to make her fit me are: I lower my bridge, so my bra has more of a plunge look to it. (All my bras do.) I also used a smaller cradle and wire (Omega shape), and shortened the underarm of the bra. Those are my personal fitting alterations.

The last change I made was to  use polka dot tulle and sheer cup lining under my lace. The Heather bra usually only uses sheer cup lining.

Here’s where it all starts. Remember, go see what Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice is making – we’re both starting with this pattern. The Classic Pattern or ‘Linda’.

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You can see by comparing the photo of my bra front to the pattern, the cross cup seams are different. Where the straps join is different as well. Beverly shows how to change both of these in the class. There are also some pattern pieces included in the Materials of the class, so you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

Now for a few more features of my bra.

Front bow

On this close-up of the front you can see I made my bows out of the polka dot tulle. Just peeking out from behind that bow you can see a Gothic arch. Those are so comfortable.

Bow

Here’s another little bow. Both straps have bows covering the seams where the upper cup and strap are sewn together. Another change I made was to have the trim that’s along the upper cup go all the way up the strap.

The polka dot tulle continues up the straps as well. And around the bra band for a delicate polka dot look to the whole bra.

Band

I love polka dots.

This class was really something I’d wanted for a long time. Since I first saw the Heather bra, I knew I wanted to make one too. There is so much more in this class as well. Don’t forget to pop over to Rachelle’s post to see what she made using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern, and read her review.

Do you have a favorite bra from one of Beverly’s Bra-making classes on Craftsy? I’d love to hear which one it is.

I want to thank Craftsy for donating this class to me to review.

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Wednesday, September 14

Every day I’m posting the day’s links. Want to see the whole blog tour schedule? The complete schedule will be available at the end of the tour.

We have such a wonderful group of bloggers on this tour! They’ve all done an incredible job. Thank you.

bloggers

 Happy creating!

A Modern Floral Shelley and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

My most recent Shelley is a bit of an experiment for me. My experiment was in the materials I used. I usually use Duoplex for my bra cups. On this bra, I used the Lycra that came in the Merckwaerdigh kit and then lined it with Sheer Cup Lining. Seeing as there’s no stretch in the lining, I thought it would work.

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Isn’t that pretty? I loved it the moment I saw it. And I’ve learned, when I see something in Margreet’s Etsy store that I love, I buy it right away. I’ve found if I wait, it’s gone. My challenge with using kits from Merckwaerdigh is I need the support of Duoplex or something non-stretch. If I use Duoplex underneath the Lycra, it’s getting to be the cost of two bras. I wanted to try something different.

I had a little more trouble sewing Lycra than I do Duoplex. I’m not used to sewing stretch when sewing my cups. Here you can see where I made a little mistake in my sewing.

Mod Blue Shelley

Look at that wrinkle. I decided it was a small cosmetic error, I’m going to give it a cosmetic treatment – cover it up.

I love this material, but there was one big downside to it – all the shades of blue in it. I planned on using a Navy findings kit from Bra-Makers Supply, as well as Navy Power Net from them. So, I needed Navy thread. Fine. I got Navy thread. When I sewed the elastic on the back of the lace though, the Navy looked terrible. So, off to the store to match some thread to the lace. The thread that matches the lace, doesn’t look great on the Lycra. Sigh. I wasn’t going to buy a third spool of thread for the bra, so the Navy thread is now a design element on this bra.

front

Here’s the bra from the front. I love those three little bows at the front. And those little bows … they’re all me-made. The Merckwaerdigh kits don’t come with bows. The only bows I had really didn’t go with the colors of the bra, so I looked at my ribbon stash. This golden ribbon was the only one that went well. It’s really fun to make ribbons, and easy. I shared how in this post. I used the cardboard method, but the fork method looks like it produces a lovely bow as well.

three bows

Here are the bows all finished and sewn on with a blue bead in the center. It hides that little wrinkle pretty well.

back

Here’s the back of the bra. I did over-calculate how much I had to add to the band using the new, stronger elastics from Bra-Makers Supply. You can read about those elastics here. I had to cut a bit off both sides to make it perfect for me, and next I’ll adjust my band pattern.

So, how did my experiment go? The bra fits a touch looser than when I make it from Duoplex. The only place I noticed any wrinkles at all were under the arm where I already have to make an adjustment. Now, if I could only sew Lycra more neatly and without wrinkles!

Now onto the Bra-a Week Challenge submissions!

This is week 25 of the Bra-A-Week Challenge, and this week we have some very beautiful submissions along with my own.

The first bra is from Sofia. It is such a delicate work of art inspired by a one of her favorite lingerie brands.

Little-Black-Bra

Here’s Sofia’s Little Black Bra. Isn’t that gorgeous? Sofia used Eyelash lace backed with nude Power Net to achieve the look on the front of the bra.  As well, she took careful attention to match the lace on the cups. All that extra attention does show. She finished her bra with black Power Net for the band and a 3 Hook and Eye set. Stunning!

You can read more about Sofia’s inspiration and Black Lace Bra on her blog Silver Lining. So very lovely!

Our second bra this week is from France and it’s actually a set of bras, not just one.

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I can’t even imagine how wonderful it would be to have someone make custom-fitting bras for me. France is making them for her Mom. What a wonderful thing!

Look at all these beautiful bras! This is what you can do once you have that perfect pattern.

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This photo shows the back of the bra. Look at how perfectly the whole bra fits! And it looks really comfortable too with that full back. That’s just so great!

Our next submission is from David of Bonnet Bleu. It’s another lovely delicate looking bra. David made this bra using Black tulle and white lace for his triangle lace cup bra with nude bra cup foams.

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The black is more visible here from the side. The wings are black. So very lovely and delicate looking.

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David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Bleu.

Happy creating!

Kwik Sew 3300

This is such a pretty style. Here is my Kwik Sew 3300:

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I think it looks so pretty with the black and white theme. The lace was a gift, and the floral stretch lace is from a local fabric store. All other material supplies are from Bra Makers Supply.

It’s pretty, but there were a couple of fitting issues. One really wasn’t a biggie. This bra  had the straps pinned up about 2 inches here in the picture – so I shortened those.

The bigger fitting issue is the upper part of the cup is loose. I could pinch a quarter-inch out of the upper cup. That shouldn’t be too hard to fix on the pattern, and thankfully it doesn’t show when I wear it. This style actually fits similarly to how a foam cup bra fits.

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You can see here where I pinned the cup.

The steps I took beforehand really helped me to get the cup to fit properly. Here’s what I did for this bra (and some of this is from  past posts, but I’m putting it all together here):

The first thing I did was sew up a muslin for the cups. I did this twice. After looking at the pattern pieces, and picking the one I thought was closest to my size, I sewed up my first muslin. I used some scrap cotton I had left over from a skirt muslin I’d made. On this first one I could see how much I would need to adjust the pattern along the wire line. Remember, I my wear one size bra for the cups, but my wire size does not match that – it’s quite a bit smaller. So that was my first adjustment.

After I altered the pattern I sewed up another cup muslin. Again, I used some left over cotton, but this time it was from one of my moulages. This second one I pinned over an existing well-fitting bra. It was a pretty good fit at this point. But still needed a bit of adjustment. On this second muslin I drew where the seam lines fell underneath it.  Again, dealing with an Omega shape means most patterns don’t fit the way they are.

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At this point I was pretty sure I had the right size and shape for me. And I was really close.

This bra has a vertical seam, so no upper and lower cup, but instead and inside and outside cup. I was using lace for both the inside and outside cups, so I lined them both with sheer cup lining. That made both cups completely non-stretch to give it the support it needed. I’ve done this before on all lace bras, and it works great. I usually don’t use Lycra because I don’t find it offers the support needed, but using this sheer cup lining would be a great option for under Lycra too.

At this point I was feeling quite confident that this bra was going to fit without any issues. You see, most of my issues have been the bridge and the adjustments I needed for the Omega shape. I haven’t run into this looseness before.

I didn’t use the band that came with the pattern. I used the one I know fits wells. I now have a custom bridge that is working great for me and I wasn’t going to mess with that. As well, I drafted the cradle on my band to fit a Vertical wire and a custom bridge. After all the work to get the band to fit so well, there was no way I was going to try another band! All I was really wanted was to insert the 3300 cups into my band for a different look.

Even though this bra pattern still needs some tweaking, the steps I took ahead of time really were worth all the effort. And if you have challenges with fitting, I really recommend this method of fitting the bra cups. A shout out to Sigrid for sharing this. And after much searching, I realized it was not in her blog, but on Pattern Review. She explained this when she reviewed Merckwaerdigh’s BHST2 pattern. Really a great tip!

Happy Creating!